My love: Versailles!!!

Ok so we all have our favorite city , small medium and large. I do have mine. I am visiting this city since 1991 and each time is better. I was extremely lucky to come to live here in 2003 upon entering France as permanent resident and citizen. I do love Versailles. Other have more for the popular one but maybe I am too royal to like revolutionary cities, I do like Versailles. Capital city of the Yvelines dept 78 in the Ïle de France region of my belle France.

Versailles

I have written so much on it , I am afraid I might repeat myself but so what, its all worth a kingdom or a republic. I do love Versailles and will like to tell you a bit more about it.

This is Versailles, the main Royal town of France. I lived here for almost 10 years by Notre Dame quartier  or neighborhood behind the Collegiale Church of Notre Dame, grand!! awesome unforgetable.  I have visited it several time sometimes staying in the city or in Paris or just near in the Yvelines renting from hotels to apparthotels to houses.

Versailles

After all, I am ask to tell about the town, and frankly visiting and living are two different things. When I lived there I hardly took photos, and after getting into my blog (Nov10) started taking a bit more, on my last visit ,I think took more than ever about 150 photos!!!

We ,of course, walk in our old neighborhood that was behind our Collegiale Church Notre Dame, the one where all the princes of Versailles were registered at birth and baptized (and later kings even of other countries). The one that was not taken for Cathedral because the French revolution did not want it to make a Royal shrine more powerful, so they chose another for the cathedral in the Saint Louis quartier. However, Notre Dame is the oldest and most prestigious historically.

In all we got into the palace/museum property to get into our old porte Saint Antoine and past the Hameau de la reine Marie-Antoinette, and into the Petit Trianon and Grand Trianon, taking the petit train to come back to the castle. We saw again the Grand Canal and the boats, and ate dinner at our favorite restaurant and still grand, Le Boeuf à la Mode, 4 Rue au Pain at the place du marché Notre Dame. Open 7/7 from breakfast from 9h and continuous service from 12h to midnight. Fabulous Versailles look and belle époque design, recommended. The official webpage here: Le Boeuf à la Mode resto in Versailles

versailles

We had lunch at the old Tavern de Maitre Kanter at 5 Rue Colbert (this later came to be the Pavillon Colbert and now do not see much action there to verify if open on my next trip) very near the castle on the right side looking at castle. We had a bottle of red Joseph Drouhin burgundy wine, steaks and fries, choucroute paysanne , with oysters as entry, desserts from creme brulée to ice creams banana splits, and others for 153€ for five not bad with a look at the Chateau de Versailles ! location bring the price high but the view and ambiance is magnificent. More info on their Facebook page here: Facebook page of Pavillon Colbert Versailles

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The Château de Versailles  was fantastic, some crowds (record breaking visitors numbers!! ) but worth it again. We went in fairly quickly and as design , purchase my ticket like a tourist on site very fast, the security line advance quickly too and you are in. We were inside the palace by 10h (10am).

 The ticket office on the left of the main parvis once inside the grilled wrough iron door.   We saw again quickly the gardens, the Royal Chapel , the grand and petit apartments, the different rooms, gallery of glass and the gallery of battles with Yorktown , all wonderful, it seems the now visiting was more beautiful than when visit as a resident. We wondered the gardens of the Château de Versailles, where we roam many times for walks and lunch to missed our loving Café Angelina in the Petit Trianon outside with a terrace lovely after a long day jogging or walking in the gardens.

 

We went over the kids bus stops along avenue Saint Cloud and Europe, now we found the parking there has been change from entering from the ave de l’Europe now you entered by the Avenue de Paris… Of course, we came inside the Collegiale Church of Notre Dame. And we visited the market or Marché Notre Dame ; where we did some last minute shopping before it folded for the day . And we went to Le Chesnay where my boys went to school, high school and did shop at the wonderful Parly II shopping center, now renamed Westfield Parly II to separate the housing and the shopping mall. It is the best in the area and for the size the best with all the trimmings of Paris including Lenôtre, Au Printemps, BHV, etc, and a wonderful food section.  More info here: Shopping Center Westfield Parly II

versailles

versailles

We went up where most do not go when visiting Versailles, a pity. Its more than a castle;; up in the Montreuil quartier going away from the chateau on avenue de Paris you reach No 73 on your left hand side, see the Domaine Madame Elizabeth (house of sister of Louix XVI, also guillotine for defending her brother). Now a cultural center on temporary exhibits and events.  More info in French here:Domaine de Madame Elizabeth

versailles

If you go thru the gardens in the side back ,get out on the back door to your left trails, and go out in ave Champ Lagane, take left and go straight to find the the Maisons des musiciens Italiens at No 15. These were the musicians that king Louis XIV brought from Italy to sing and play at his court. Then it house the Madame de Marsans that care for the children of Louis XV.  Now, it is the museum of the Compagnons du tour de France, that have their hq here too. More info on reservation with the tourist office here: TOurist office of Versailles on the Maison des Musiciens in French

Versailles

Then visit the Hôtel des Menus Plaisir du Roi; at no 22 avenue de Paris ; right hand side from chateau .This is where the toys and amusement of the king’s children were kept, then it serve to host the Etats Généraux in 1789. Where the deputies voted a National Assembly and abolished all priviledges and rights of the nobles creating the declaration of the rights of men and citizens. Today, it is the musical baroque center of Versailles with baroque music plays or the Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles. More info in their official webpage in English here: Official Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles

versailles

In Versailles we past by the wonderful museum Lambinet with all the history of Versailles in it.  It is in my old quartier Notre Dame at boulevard de la Reine. More info in the city page in English here: City of Versailles about the Musée Lambinet

We visit wonderful history in the old Lycée Hoche, one of the highest learning secondary or high school in France in the scientific field. It is at 73 ave Saint Cloud, and were before the convent of the queen, that were given to the school after the French revolution. Built between 1767  and 1772,and became an Imperial college in 1806, by 1888 it was rename Hoche in honor of local native General Lazare Hoche. More info in the site of its museum kept apart from the school the visit info in French see it here: Friends of the Museum of Hoche Versailles

We visit our Hôtel de Ville, our former city/town hall, and went all the way up visiting the different departments as if were still here,and the people were nice enough to let us roam thru the hallways (hospitality Versaillaise). webpage of the city with a map you can click the points you want to see in the map, I have on tourists spots in French here: City of Versailles map on tourist spots

versailles

It is a huge place as it is today with 37 hectares on the palace ground along but it was 807 hectares at its heyday in royalty. The different gates or doors of old can be found in maps but there is one back all the way back of the Grand Canal by St Cyr l’école, dates from 1741. It is one of the best example of power and beauty a fairy tail story only broken by a revolution which the holder now has the same absolute powers and lives in a palace Elysées ::) It was a long weekend of glory for us,  but Versailles will always remain close to our hearts, who needs Paris when you had Versailles ! Really ::) Do come ,enjoy it, no matter the wait ,it is all worth it. AND, do wandered on the town, it has still an old world ambiance with all the modern facilities of today. All wonderful Versailles, a Royal town, my kind of town. And ,I am sure if dare to visit all of it, away from the chateau ,it will become your town too….

Some additional webpages as usual thing from me to help you plan your trip here are

The tourist office of Versailles in English: Tourist office of Versailles in English

The city of Versailles on tourism info in French: City of Versailles on tourism

And of course, can’t be away from it, the Palace/Museum of Versailles in English: Palace museum of Versailles

And there you have it my cinderalla story on a awesome castle of France and by now the world. I love Versailles!!! Hope you enjoy it ,and do come out of the castle into the city, huge things to see and do.

And remember, happy travels, good health,and many cheers to all!!!

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